Because one Olson Post is Never Enough.
Initially, this Q&A section was part of the REVIEW we posted yesterday. But, that would have made it a seriously LONG read. I like writing about new companies but sometimes you have to know when to say when. So we decided to break this up into two posts. One for the review and then this post where Logan answered some questions we sent him.
I honestly had about 10-15 more questions for this Q&A but I wanted to leave a few out so when we get him on the Podcast there’s something to talk about. Yes, the podcast is coming and it’s coming soon. With that being said, we feel there still needs to be a little mystery to the brand. Hopefully, you get some answers you might have been looking for and you’ll be even more intrigued to check out his work.
Getting to know Logan Olson, this new player in the custom putter world:
Being new to the industry, as a manufacturer and not just a player, I sat down and put some questions to paper and sent them off to Logan. I wanted to ask some questions I think the majority of you would want to know the answers to and Logan was kind enough to take some time out of his hectic schedule and answer them for us.
One of my first interactions with Logan was on the phone. The fact he was eager to get on the phone and discuss what we could do together was pretty cool. A lot of people, especially in my age bracket, are quick to shun the younger generations. I’m guilty, and I know a lot of you are as well. To see a young man dedicate the majority of his time to learn and grow as a designer and a fabricator is refreshing. To say I was shocked to learn Logan is only 21 years old is an understatement.
Here’s our Q&A with Logan Olson.
Q&A With Putter Craftsman Logan Olson
Putters are such a unique part of the golf industry. They’re not only essential to the game, but they have a connection to the player unlike the other 13 clubs in the bag. What is it about an Olson putter that is going to connect with golfers?
Putters are indeed the black sheep of everyone’s golf bag. Few and far between tend to be a match to everything else in the bag. For most golfers (including me) it’s never apparent why some putters tend to work better than others for no apparent reason. One week the hole looks as big as a trash can, and the next you would swear it’s smaller than the ball. Above all, a putter needs to work. Style and flare are a welcome addition to a great putter, but function always needs to come first and foremost. I’m sure everyone can stand in some agreement with me that we all have that rusty, dinged up, raggedy gripped, a hunk of junk that is standing on deck in the closet ready for action when your current putter loses its magic.
I have a lot of them. I’ve tried to pull a lot of my putter head designs, shapes, curves, and sweeps from putters that had always seemed to find their way sneaking back into my bag when nothing else seemed to do the trick. Working from pieces of dozens of different canvases and smashing them all together with my style and flare to create something that resembles a putter. Something as soon as you set it behind the ball, the first thought that comes into your head is, “that looks about right.” The perfect putter shape is a bit like Sasquatch. Some have claimed to have seen it, but none with real proof. Luckily, for all of us, it all comes down to personal preference, and that’s something I strive to connect with on a personal level with each client.
CNC milling custom putters are hot right now, and design elements are more difficult than ever to be unique and still maintain function. How do you feel Olson Manufacturing is going to be able to handle the demands of the putter segment in the industry?
The demand for personalization today is more prominent than ever. You can get anything customized or personalized these days. From shoes to cars, nothing is out of reach to have your personal touch added to if you can find the right venue and price tag to get it done. I’ve been stamping my initials on golf clubs since I was a kid. It might not have always looked good or professional, but it was something that felt personal. Something as simple as a few initials turns a product that may have been produced by the thousands, into a one-of-a-kind piece. Being able to say, “this is the only one in the world like this,” is a powerful statement.
With so many things being mass produced these days, having something unique and different is special. CNC machining or (computer numeric controlled) machining is significant in the putter industry right now. It gives designers and putter makers the ability to create one of a kind, unique pieces of work that are completely specific to the individual. You can come up with a new design and make 1. Not 10, not 100, not 10,00 just 1, having the ability to prototype like that is what has created this massive demand for CNC milled putters, in my opinion.
Being able to execute these elaborate ideas and designs is a whole other beast. I spend hours and hours each day programming, drafting, and designing as these ideas get crazier and more involved. I do everything I can to not discourage my client’s ideas and suggestions. If we can figure out a way to put a man on the moon, then I can come up with a way to make a putter look like a Bat Mobile. It might kill me in the process, but I can make it happen. I am always looking for a new project to take on that will challenge my abilities and sanity as a designer/machinist.
Taking a page from the Marie Kondo book, we all know that the completion of a build brings joy. Not only to the new owner but the builder as well. But tell us what the hardest part about getting a putter into the hands of a new client is?
Every putter is like a puzzle for me. With the growth of new ideas and designs daily, I am always tasked with coming up with some new solution to a problem I didn’t have yesterday. How do I hold that, how can I machine that feature, are these two metals compatible for a weld, where do I even start…? These are problems that find their way into my every day and are the roots that I grow from. The most satisfying part of creating putters is the skillset I gain with each new project I take on. A friend of mine calls this the “Everlasting tuition of life.” It gives me great satisfaction to know that every putter leaving the door has challenged me and has allowed me to learn something new and stretch my imagination.
Walk us through a typical day at Olson Manufacturing.
Oh man, do you guys have all day…? LOL
Challenges are everywhere in the Golf Industry. What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced since starting Olson Manufacturing?
It’s tough running a boutique style golf company; you’re entirely at the mercy of the people. I get one shot with each person, period. I must do everything I can to make that shot count. Starting from the first interaction to the completion of the putter, everything counts. Being able to be that connected to each client presents a very challenging task. I regularly work between 12-14-hour days and then go home to answer and respond to anywhere from 20-70 emails and messages every night. That makes for long days, It’s a commitment that I didn’t understand in the beginning, but now realize how truly disciplined you must be to make it happen in this industry. I try to do my absolute best to make a personal connection with everyone that places an order for a custom putter.
What types of metal are you using in your builds? And, how often are you getting a request for exotic metals?
I use an array of materials such as carbon steels, stainless, copper, brass, titanium, aluminum, Damascus, and other exotic materials frequently. I never try to shy away from anything, and I will do my best to take on any requests (within reason). Am I still waiting on someone to send me a brick of gold to make a putter out of, any takers?
If you had to choose between creating the designs or crafting the metal, which would you pick?
Unfortunately, I don’t feel like you can have one without the other. Designing the putters with the intent of machining them helps dictate how they are drawn. Machining the putters helps dictate how they are designed. The chicken or the egg. Couldn’t tell you.
Tell us a little about your golf life? When were you introduced to the game? How much of an influence on your current path has it played?
Golf has played a massive role in my career as a putter maker. It’s crucial to know the game of golf when designing putters because so much of putter design is feel. Being able to understand what feels good is HUGE. Golf has given me the ability to use my hands as a tool whenever I make something new. I was introduced to the game of golf at a very young age. The etiquettes and mindset that you need to play the game of golf have found their way into my daily life
Follow up to the last question. What clubs would we find in your bag? You know a complete WITB for Logan Olson. And don’t be shy when you’re talking about the putter you’re gaming.
My golf bag has recently found a very cozy spot, way back in the corner of the back hallway in the shop. It hasn’t gotten to see the grass of a golf course in a while. As busy as I am with the putters I don’t get to play as much as I’d like to. Right now, I’ve got an older set of Titleist MB’s from 2014 PW-4 iron, Titleist TMB 3 iron, 713 D3 Driver, 713 3 Wood and Hybrid, SM6 Vokey Wedges 52°, 56° and not a putter in sight. Every time I stick one in my bag, it either gets snagged by my younger brother or sold to someone who walks into the shop.
We’re still early in 2019. Aside from your signature series releases, what else should we expect to see from Olson Manufacturing this year?
As 2019 progresses, I honestly have no idea where this journey will take me. I am excited to say that I will take on the rest of this year with everything I’ve got and make sure to keep cranking out putters
Thanks, Logan for taking the time to answer these questions. As I mentioned earlier, we had many others but I didn’t want to overwhelm him with questions. He’s a busy guy you know.
However, if you want to ask a question to Logan feel free to leave one below in the comments section. I’ll be sure to pass it along to him, and we’ll do our best to get it answered and posted.
And, if you haven’t read the review we posted head on over to it HERE. There you can read more about the work Logan is creating.